Health and Safety
HEALTH, SAFETY and NUTRITION
School nursing today is a specialized practice of professional nursing that advances the well being, academic success, and life-long achievement of students. To that end, school nurses facilitate positive student responses to normal development; promote health and safety; intervene with actual and potential health problems; provide case management services; and actively collaborate with others to build student and family capacity for
adaptation, self-management, self-advocacy and learning.
~National Association of School Nurses~
Health Services Program
The School Health Services program is provided on a full-time basis in every school and includes the following:
- Individualized health care planning and case management for students with special health care needs
- Illness assessment and care
- Injury prevention, triage and care
- Medication administration and monitoring
- Health counseling and health promotion
Communicable disease prevention and control
- Health screenings in compliance with regulations of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. These annual screenings are initial health screenings. Parents/guardians are notified when a student does not meet the passing criteria, and are advised to seek further medical evaluation.
----- Hearing and vision
----- Height, weight and BMI measurements
- Environmental health and safety
- Access to health care services and insurance
- Management of student health record data
- Emergency preparedness and response
- Intercommunication between/among students, parents, the school community and health care providers
- Selected health services are also provided for school staff
The school nurse can be reached by telephone, email or via a dedicated fax line. She is also generally available in the Health Office fifteen minutes before the start of school and thirty minutes after dismissal. The nurse may also be reached by:
Phone 781-455-0448, ext 2
We encourage parents/guardians to call any time they have concerns and specifically for the following reasons:
- A new medical diagnosis or a change in your childĂs health status
- A newly prescribed medication
- A change in a current medication
- A serious injury, illness or hospitalization
- A fracture, sprain, stitches, or a cast
- A contagious disease such as chicken pox, flu, strep throat, whooping cough
- If a child is absent for an extended period of time
- If there are any recent changes in your family that may affect your child, such as a birth, recent loss or sudden illness
To allow sufficient time to recover from an illness or injury, and to minimize the spread of an infectious illness, your child should be kept home from school if he/she has:
- A communicable disease
- Fever greater than 100 degrees F within the last 24 hours
- Vomiting/diarrhea within the last 24 hours
- Pain that requires the use of narcotic medications
- An upper respiratory illness with significant coughing and/or nasal discharge
Physical Education Exemption
When it is necessary to excuse your child from Physical Education, written documentation is required from your childĂs physician. Written documentation is also required to resume participation in Physical Education.
Health Insurance Coverage
Massachusetts offers free or low-cost health and dental insurance for school-age children. Every child in Massachusetts should have access to a primary care provider. If you have any questions or need any information about health insurance coverage, please speak with your childĂs school nurse.
Health Data Requirements
The Needham Public Schools, in accordance with the regulations of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, requires the following health information before a student enters school.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health Regulation 105 CMR 220 requires students to be immunized before starting school. An immunization certificate/record that includes the month, day and year the immunizations were administered needs to be submitted to and reviewed by the school nurse before the student begins school.
If there are medical reasons why your child has not been immunized, a certificate must be obtained from your physician and forwarded to the school nurse. For religious exemption, please write a note to the school nurse.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health Regulation 105 CMR 200 requires a physical examination for all new students within six months of entrance to school or during the first year after entrance. A current physical examination is also required for students entering the third, sixth and ninth grade. At the high school level, a student participating in interscholastic athletics must submit a current physical examination. According to Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Guidelines to qualify for each sport season, the physical must be dates within thirteen months of the first day of practice. If a studentĂs physical expires during the current sport season, a new physical needs to be submitted.
The Needham Public Schools Medication Policy complies with state guidelines. The following statements highlight the main points of the policy. The entire medication policy is available for review in each Health Office. - The Health Services policy encourages that medication be administered before and after school hours, if possible. - All medications, prescriptions or over-the-counter medications require a physicianĂs order, completed parental permission form, and parent signed administration plan. Medication will not be administered until all three documents are complete and received
by the School Nurse. These required forms are available in the health office or may be downloaded from the health services website.http://district.needham.k12.ma.us/ss_health_service.htm
- Medications must be delivered to the School Nurse in a correctly labeled pharmacy or manufacturerĂs medication container by the parent, guardian or responsible adult. (Medications are not accepted in containers such as plastic bags.) Students are not permitted to bring medication to school.
- All medication orders expire at the end of each school year. New medication orders are required at the start of the school year.
- All medications must be picked up by a parent/guardian before the close of the school year. Any medications that are not picked up by the close of school will be destroyed.
Guidelines for Management of Life-Threattening Allergies in the Schools
In compliance with regulations of the Massachusetts Department of Education, the Needham Public SchoolĂs have developed the Ă¬Guidelines for the Management of Life- Threatening Allergies in School.Ă® These Guidelines are available in the Health Office and on the Health Services website. The following statements reflect the important highlights of these guidelines.
1. Parents should notify the School Nurse and the classroom teacher of their childĂs allergy and schedule an appointment with the nurse to discuss the specifics of their childĂs allergy.
2. The School Nurse will develop an Individual Health Care Plan and an Allergy Action Plan/Emergency plan for each student with life-threatening allergy to ensure his/her safety at school.
3. Room Parents must check with the teacher when planning classroom parties and activities. Parents must also check with teachers before sending any food into the classroom.
The Health Services section of the Needham Public SchoolĂs website is also a good source of information. Many of the frequently requested health forms are available for downloading and the site provides links to a number of health reference websites. http://district.needham.k12.ma.us/ss_health_service.htm